Samara O'Shea

Play Like a Girl

I learned to play chess in high school. I loved the game immediately—or I at least loved knowing how the pieces travel. It made me feel like I knew a secret. I also liked that the Queen was (still is!) the most powerful piece. I had a minor obsession with the game for a few years, despite not being the best player. The obsession went away, as most obsessions do, and now I hold the game of chess in the highest esteem and hope to pick it back up someday.

My friend Jennifer, on the other hand, learned to play at a much younger age and mastered the game in her 20s. She is a two-time American Women’s Chess Champion (2002, 2004). Since then, she’s taken her skill set and assumed some chess-inspired creative endeavors—like being in a video called Naked Chess. Here is a vibrant book trailer for Jen’s latest (a collaboration with 9 Queens) entitled Play Like a Girl: